The selfish act of praying to God
God in Abrahamic religions like Judaism, Christianity and Islam is conceived as omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent. In simple terms, God is all powerful, all knowing and all loving. Religious texts of these religions show that God has a plan for all of us and knows with absolute certainty everything that has happened and will happen.
However, prayers in the form of asking God for something suggest the paradoxical and selfish nature of such acts.
Imagine you are praying for the end of child labor, the result of such prayer only has two outcomes, i.e. it will happen or it won’t. Child labor will either cease to exist or it will still be a problem. However, God already knows what will happen in the future and that is his perfect plan. In our example, innocent children will either still be forced to work or they will be free from such atrocities. The end of child labor is either in God’s plan or it’s not part of his plan. If it is not part of his plan, you are simply asking for something that is never going to happen because God’s plan is the best and final according to scriptures. On the other hand, if it is part of God’s plan, then it was going to happen regardless of your prayer. And so, whether it is God’s plan or not, praying itself has absolutely no bearing on anything that one tries to achieve with such acts.
Now that we know praying isn’t doing anything to help other people in need, then why do religious people of the Abrahamic religions still choose to pray? The reason is simple: it makes them feel more comfortable.
The selfish act of praying to God for other people is essentially doing nothing practical to help them while making oneself feel better by pretending they are.